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National EPA Water Plan Management Proposal. By Rebecca Herzberg, Loney Keil, Hannah Kosman, and Molly Segal. EPA and its Organization. Employs 17,000 people across the country Staff is highly educated and technically trained

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National EPA Water Plan Management Proposal

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national epa water plan management proposal

National EPA Water Plan Management Proposal

By Rebecca Herzberg, Loney Keil, Hannah Kosman, and Molly Segal

epa and its organization
EPA and its Organization
  • Employs 17,000 people across the country
  • Staff is highly educated and technically trained
    • Engineers, scientists, policy analysts and legal, public affairs, financial, information management and computer specialists

epa s mission
EPA’s Mission
  • To protect human health and safeguard the natural environment -- air, water and land -- upon which life depends.

epa s purpose is to ensure that
EPA’s purpose is to ensure that:
  • Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment
  • Reduction of environmental risks are based on the best available scientific information
  • Federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively
  • All parts of society have access to accurate information on the environment
  • Environmental protection contributes to making our communities and ecosystems diverse, sustainable and economically productive
  • The US is a leader in working with other nations to protect the global environment

to accomplish this mission the epa must
To accomplish this mission, the EPA must:
  • Develop and Enforce Regulations
  • Give Grants
  • Study Environmental Issues
  • Sponsor Partnerships
  • Teach people about the environment
  • Publish information

2 main water issues for epa
2 Main Water Issues for EPA
  • Protecting water quality by controlling pollution
  • Preventing exposure to toxic contamination in communities

Allison Winter - AmeriCorps*VISTA

  • Pollution flows with streams and rivers to a final destination
  • Non-point source pollution
    • Nation’s largest water quality problem
    • Hardest to manage

Allison Winter - AmeriCorps*VISTA

4 critical components of clean water act
4 Critical Components of Clean Water Act
  • Scientifically sound WQS (water quality standards)
  • Effective water monitoring
  • Strong programs for controlling non-point source pollution
  • Strong discharge permit programs

clean water act s goal
Clean Water Act’s Goal

The federal Clean Water Act seeks to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters.”

Allison Winter - AmeriCorps*VISTA

healthy watersheds initiative
Healthy Watersheds Initiative
  • Encourages states, local governments, watershed organizations, and others to take a strategic approach to conserve our watersheds
  • Ensures that there are no additional water quality impairments in the future

current epa water plan they feel it s their responsibility to
Current EPA Water Plan – they feel it’s their responsibility to:

1. Ensure drinking water is safe

2. Restore and maintain oceans, watersheds and their aquatic ecosystems to protect human health

3. Support economic and recreational activities

4. Provide healthy habitat for fish, plants and wildlife

epa s key strategies to achieve clean water goals
Core Programs – improve WQS by management

Water Infrastructure - help sustain and secure the network of pipes and treatment facilities

Watershed Restoration and Protection – clean up plans, etc.

EPA’s Key Strategies to Achieve Clean Water Goals:

implementing core programs on a watershed basis
Implementing Core Programs on a Watershed Basis
  • EPA is:
    • Issuing discharge permits
    • Implementing water quality trading
    • Assessing individual infrastructure needs
    • Demonstrating scale program integration through assistance grants

sustainable infrastructure strategy 4 main themes
Sustainable Infrastructure Strategy – 4 main themes
  • Sustainable Management Practices
    • Work with utilities and associations
  • Water Efficiency
    • Create consumer market for water-efficient products
  • Full cost pricing
    • Set rate structures
  • A watershed approach
    • Provide tools and info to promote watershed infrastructure decisions

sustainable infrastructure
Sustainable Infrastructure
  • The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) provides water systems with low-interest loans to improve infrastructure
  • EPA will provide $1.2 billion dollars annually to fund
  • EPA will make sure DWSRF funds are managed carefully and will encourage adoption of sustainable management systems

objective 2 1 3 watershed protection
Objective 2.1.3 – Watershed Protection

  • By 2011, improve quality of recreational waters by:
    • Reducing number of waterborne diseases – an average of 2 per year
    • Maintaining percentage of days that beaches are open for swimming (96%)
drinking water standards
Drinking Water Standards
  • Directs EPA to establish national standards for contaminants – SDWA (Safe Drinking Water Act)
  • Will conduct second 6-year National Primary Drinking Water Rule Review to determine whether existing standards need to be revised

ensuring compliance
Ensuring Compliance
  • Will work closely with states, tribes, owners and operators of municipal water systems to provide water that meets health-based standards

working with states
Working with States
  • EPA will provide training and assistance in using cost-effective treatment technologies, properly disposing of waste, and complying with standards for high-priority contaminants
  • Will strengthen small systems’ technical, management and financial capabilities

two significant initiatives for states
Two Significant Initiatives for states
  • EPA’s Homeland Security Sentinel Act
    • Deploys and tests contamination warning system in states
  • Water Alliance for Threat Reduction
    • Provides direct water security training to drinking water utilities serving more than 100,000 people

water safe for swimming
Work with states to ensure that state-adopted criteria for pathogens and bacteria in waters designated for recreational use are current and scientifically soundWater Safe for Swimming


2. Implement controls for Combined Sewer Overflows

3. Provide grants to monitor beach water quality level and notify public when bacterial contamination poses risk to swimmers

sub objective 2 2 2
Sub-objective 2.2.2
  • Improve Coastal and Ocean Water
    • By 2011, prevent water pollution and protect coastal and ocean systems to improve national coastal aquatic ecosystem health by at least .2 points on good/fair/poor scale of National Coastal Condition Report

objective 2 3 enhance science and research
Objective 2.3: Enhance Science and Research
  • By 2011, increase scientific research to protect water quality for human health

to enhance science and research
To enhance science and research:
  • Develop drinking water research program
  • Develop water quality research program
  • Perform measurement
  • Adhere to environmental justice
  • Use feedback from assessments and evaluations

step 1 combat sewage
Step #1 – Combat Sewage
  • Many diseases, such as typhoid, cholera, and polio, can be found in and transferred through our wastewater

Raven and Berg, Environment

fecal coliform test
Fecal Coliform Test
  • Currently, the fecal coliform test is used on our water to monitor it for sewage
  • One of the main issues with this test is that though it can identify disease-causing agents, it can’t tell us where they come from

Raven and Berg, Environment

what the epa supports
What the EPA Supports:
  • Bacterial source tracking (BST) in every body of water (for non-point pollution sources)
  • Enforcing fines on companies and factories that willingly dump sewage into waterways (point source pollution)

Raven and Berg, Environment

step 2 stop sediment pollution
Step #2: Stop Sediment Pollution
  • Sediments enter the water because of soil erosion, deforestation, construction, and removal of plant cover (point source)
  • Sediments are able to bring insoluble toxic pollutants into the water, and these sediments can fill waterways

Raven and Berg, Environment

what the epa supports1
What the EPA Supports:
  • Prevention of sediment pollution, by monitoring soil erosion, deforestation, and construction (point source pollution)
  • Establishing contracts with timber and construction companies

Raven and Berg, Environment

step 3 inorganic plant and algal nutrients
Step #3: Inorganic Plant and Algal Nutrients
  • These are chemicals like nitrogen and phosphorus
  • These nutrients are good in small amounts, because support plant growth, etc.

Raven and Berg, Environment

how the epa plans to help
How the EPA plans to help
  • In 2001, the EPA released recommendations to reduce nitrogen runoff entering waterways through agricultural lands (point source)
  • Lowering amount of fertilizer farmers use

Raven and Berg, Environment

step 4 prevent inorganic chemicals from entering waterways
Step #4: Prevent Inorganic Chemicals from Entering Waterways
  • Tend to remain in waterways for a long time and do not easily break down
  • Major foes are lead and mercury

Raven and Berg, Environment

  • Present in ¾ of US homes as lead paint
  • Was present in gasoline until 1986, when was banned
  • Dinnerware, fertilizers, and food cans may contain some form of lead

Raven and Berg, Environment

  • Enters our waterways through coal-fired power plants
  • Can bioaccumulate in the tissues of fish in the waterways
  • Dangerous to eat  can affect our nervous and kidney systems

Raven and Berg, Environment

epa s goals
EPA’s Goals
  • Protect people and organisms from the effects of mercury and lead
  • Monitor companies that allow chemicals to enter the environment and water (point source)
  • They have issued the nation’s first proposal for regulating mercury emissions from power plants

Raven and Berg, Environment

step 5 radioactive and thermal substances
Step #5: Radioactive and Thermal Substances
  • Nuclear power plants may release radioactive minerals like uranium and thorium to the atmosphere and environment
  • Can also enter sludge
  • Thermal pollution- affects organisms and their habitats

Raven and Berg, Environment

epa s objectives
EPA’s Objectives
  • Monitor output of thermal water
  • Support companies in their efforts to find alternative ways to remove excess heat from their operations
  • They have established guidelines to reduce contamination by radioactive materials

Raven and Berg, Environment

step 6 water treatments
Step #6: Water Treatments
  • Three types of treatments: primary, secondary, and tertiary treatments

Raven and Berg, Environment

what the epa must do
What the EPA must do
  • Fund wastewater treatment facilities, so that all US water goes through a complete treatment process.
    • Only 27% of wastewater treatment facilities in the United States have primary, secondary, and tertiary treatments

Raven and Berg, Environment

step 7 clean water act enforcement
Step #7: Clean Water Act Enforcement
  • Clean Water Act is enforced by states and the EPA
  • Sometimes states will have stricter standards than the national levels
  • Enforcement of these standards is complicated because there is often not enough money or man-power to check every stream's water quality

Allison Winter - AmeriCorps*VISTA

epa and the clean water act
EPA and the Clean Water Act
  • EPA needs to reconsider the amount of help given to states to protect water quality
  • Currently, the EPA can only provide technical or financial assistance to those seeking it
  • It is up to the states and the federal government to fund these efforts and various projects are set up to do so
  • EPA needs to offer financial assistance to all states, so that they can fully combat water quality issues

step 8 handling polluters
Step #8: Handling Polluters
  • Industries and polluters can and should be fined, if they have illegally dumped waste into the waters (point source)
  • Polluters must be responsible for part of the clean up
step 10 working together
Step #10: Working Together
  • Federal, state, and local governments must work together in order to protect the national water systems
  • States all receive money to fund different projects which protect their watersheds
  • States work independently to implement future watershed plans - This policy must be changed- we need to offer more money to states to protect their watersheds, and formulate them into one formal watershed plan
  • "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2010. <>.
  • Winter, Allison. Email interview. 14 Dec. 2009.
  • "Polluted Runoff." Nonpoint source pollution: The nation's largest water quality problem. EPA, n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2010. < >.
  • "Healthy Watersheds | US EPA." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2010. <>.
  • "2006-2011 EPA Strategic Plan." EPA Gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Feb. 2010. <
  • "Water | EPA." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2010. <>.
  • Berg, and Raven. Environment. New York: John Wiley And Sons (Wie), 2001.
  • "EPA Ground Water and Drinking Water." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2010. <>.
  • "Beaches | US EPA." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2010. <
  • "Water Quality Standards | Water Science | US EPA." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2010. <>.
  • "Monitoring and Assessing Water Quality | OWOW | EPA." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2010. <>.
  • "About EPA | US EPA." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2010.
  • "Our Mission and What We Do | US EPA." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2010. <>.